The college bubble is about to burst. But that is a good thing. Every time a bubble bursts there is a crash which helps get the product or service back to a more natural state in the laws of Supply and Demand. See my post concerning that topic: https://dannesrepossessions.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/the-popping-of-the-college-bubble/
Part of setting College right is making High School and the other primary education institutions important. As it stands, these places really are nothing more than long-term daycare centers on the path of life to College.
The first thing to do for fixing Education, and this is the most important, is to make Education not an Entitlement. If Education is a “Right” than that means you can’t deny a child an education for any reason. ANY reason. If a kid has a right to an education, you can’t kick him out for being a criminal. If a kid has a right to an education, you can’t kick him out for failing. If a kid has a right to an education, you can’t kick him out for not trying. And because of those rights, educators need to cater to the deviants, the idiots, and the apathetic at the expense of everyone that flies straight, succeeds and tries.
To fix Education, we need to make it a Privilege, not an Entitlement. Privileges need to be earned. And Privileges can be lost. With this Privilege comes a standard of behavior. Any criminal behavior like theft, assault or vandalism will result in the Privilege of a K-12 being revoked. It won’t be revoked via a zero tolerance policy. Zero Tolerance Policies are for people without the courage to make a decision and ultimately a judgement for themselves. Any student that is committing crimes is likely failing and not trying as well.
Thirdly, a High School diploma won’t be awarded just for showing up. There will be new performance guidelines that will actually be reasonably difficult for the average student. The students will quickly learn that they will need to work hard or they will fail out.
Fourth, there will be set skill levels that students need to meet and exceed by certain grades. Examples include basic math by the second grade, multiplication and division by the 5th, and being able to read at a 7th grade level by the end of the 7th grade. These achievements are just examples, it has been a long time since I’ve been through elementary school so I can’t remember too well which skills need to be learned by when. Any student that fails to meet expectations will be required to take a make-up course during the summer at their own expense. These make-up courses can either be offered by a central school, or by a local community college. A student that fails to make the grade will be not allowed to continue until they can perform at the same level.
There will also be a certain set of knowledge and skills required to ultimately get the High School Diploma. The skills and knowledge would include, but not be limited to English Grammar, 11th Grade Reading, Civics, Basic Economics and Business, United States History, Critical Thinking and Rhetoric, and Algebra. There will be more advanced courses available, but these will be the bare minimum needed to graduate. There will be random audits testing student’s abilities. Any teacher found to be giving unearned grades will be punished.
Lastly, whenever a student leaves High School but doesn’t graduate, that student will be given a list of required courses to complete. The student can then pursue completing these courses afterwards at their own leisure or drive by attending summer courses at High Schools, or classes at a local college. Immediately upon passing all the missing classes, the adult will be granted their High School Diploma.
Like I said in the previous post, the first step after the college bubble pops is to make High School actually mean something. Part of the problem is the “Everyone is a winner” mentality. A solution to this is by making it very clear to students that they can and will fail if they don’t work hard at their own education.